Chelsea Needs Fresh Signings immediately. Most preseason games don’t give a good idea of how a team will do in the next season, but Thomas Tuchel’s worries about Chelsea’s readiness for the new Premier League season do. The alarm bells that have been going off for the past six months are getting louder.
The fact that Chelsea lost 4-0 to London rivals Arsenal in Orlando on Saturday, which led Tuchel to be honest about his team’s flaws, won’t change anything about whether or not the reigning Club World Cup champions can win something this season.
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Chelsea’s success or failure will depend on how they deal with the club’s ownership changing for the first time in 19 years. The Roman Abramovich era has ended, and a group led by L.A. Dodgers co-owner Todd Boehly has taken over at Stamford Bridge.
Abramovich has left, as well as senior executives Bruce Buck and Marina Granovskaia have decided to follow him out the door. Staff at every club will always say that they don’t care about things outside of the field, but the full effects of Chelsea’s chances in the boardroom are now being felt in the locker room. Because of this, Tuchel let his anger show after his team played badly against Arsenal at the Camping World Stadium.
“I’m not at all calm,” Tuchel said. “We just didn’t do well enough. We just weren’t good enough. I look back at the last season and see parts of the game and the season where we struggled. Then we got punished, players left, and some are still trying to leave. This is where we are now.
“So, we sent out an urgent call for a huge number of good players. We got Raheem Sterling and Kalidou Koulibaly, who are both good players, but we are not competitive like this. You could see it today, which is too bad.”
Tuchel’s problem is that Chelsea needed stability and a clear plan this summer because his team was about to enter a crucial transfer window. This was before the sanctions put on Abramovich by the U.K. government after Russia invaded Ukraine because of his alleged ties to President Vladimir Putin led to the club being sold.
Antonio Rudiger, Andreas Christensen, and Cesar Azpilicueta were all getting close to the end of their contracts, and the team needed to get younger in all areas. Since Chelsea’s big signings of the last two summers, Romelu Lukaku (€115m) and Timo Werner (€53m), who cost a total of €168m, didn’t score the goals they were supposed to, Chelsea would also need to add more attackers.
But the sanctions put Chelsea in crisis mode and made it impossible for them to plan for the summer transfer window. The long takeover process also put the club in limbo and made it impossible for Tuchel to find and sign transfer targets.
Bad results, bad performances, and the same old people who can’t do a good job. Unless Tuchel gets the players he wants, and needs, Chelsea risks going backward this season.
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